The Gallagher Brothers series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan concludes with the final brother who thought he had everything to look forward to, and the one woman who can handle him.
Life isn’t worth living if you don’t fight to live. That’s what Murphy Gallagher learned at a young age when cancer ravaged his body not once, but twice. Over the course of his survival, he lost his parents and his childhood, but he’s been healthy for years and has become a man he hopes his family is proud of. But when his world tilts on its axis yet again, he’ll have to learn what it means to fight not only the unknown but also his attraction to his best friend.
Tessa Stone works hard and plays harder. She’s spent her life trying to figure out who she is in the present rather than looking back. Yet when she’s forced into close proximity with Murphy, she’ll have to not only be his rock but learn how to relax enough to maybe let him be hers, as well. But seduction doesn’t stop when the world seems to, and close encounters of the naked kind might just be the first step in something much more complicated than either of them bargained for. Life, though, is for living, after all.
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“What the hell? Why are you in my bathroom? Why are you naked and wet in my bathroom? Boundaries, Murphy! Boundaries!” Tessa was rambling, and she didn’t care. She’d just run five freaking miles to get him and his pretty dick out of her mind, and now she had a real image of said dick in her brain, and she’d never be able to think straight again.
Why did the Gallaghers have to be so sexy? Why did this particular Gallagher have to press all her buttons just right and happen to be naked and wet in her bathroom while she was sweaty and naked right in front of him?
The horror, Tessa thought. The horror.
Murphy winced and waved over at the sink where another towel lay. She recognized this as one of Murphy’s, so she threw it at him.
“Sorry, I didn’t want to put it on the floor or on top of your towel so I left it over there.”
“Still doesn’t explain anything, Murphy Gallagher.” She would never be able to get the sight or feel of him out of her head now.
“The showerhead in the guest bath broke off. I wasn’t even touching it. When I went to turn on the water, it fell off and sprayed me in the face. The damn thing hit me on the hip on its way down.” He pointed to a growing bruise on his side, and Tessa’s eyes widened, panic leaping into her throat.
Without thinking, she reached forward and slid her fingers down his hip right above his towel. “Oh God, Murphy. Are you okay? You’re bruising so quickly.” She held back tears, annoyed with herself for showing weakness in front of the man who was actually going through this whole ordeal instead of just witnessing it.
He put his hand over hers, and she stilled, aware of what she was doing. Blushing once again, she pulled back and tightened her towel around her chest.
“I’ll be fine. I’m headed into the clinic later anyway for my scheduled blood transfusion. That’s why I needed to jump in your shower. I’m going to be late, and I didn’t have the parts to fix the other one anyway. Since part of the showerhead is still on the wall, at least it’s not spraying water everywhere unless I actually turn on the faucet, but I’ll have to shut off the water to the whole house once I start working on the plumbing. It won’t be a hard job.” Murphy blew out a breath and rubbed his face with his hand, keeping his other hand firmly on the towel around his waist. “I’m sorry for using your shower without asking, but you weren’t here, and I figured I’d clean it before you got back. I didn’t imagine you’d literally dance in naked and bump into me.” He winced, but she saw something in his eyes that looked like interest.
God, this was all just a mess, and she didn’t know what to do about it.
“It’s okay,” Tessa said slowly, trying to get images of Murphy and his pierced dick out of her brain. It wasn’t easy since he was still naked and wet in front of her. “Really. We’ll just forget this ever happened and go about our day. Why don’t you, uh, go to your room and get dressed or something, and I’ll shower and put this whole thing out of my mind.” She spoke quickly and hoped he would agree to forget it all as she’d said. Not that she’d actually forget, but she could lie with the best of them. “Do you need me to, uh, go to the hardware store or something and pick up a new showerhead?”
Murphy shook his head. “I can do it. We have a few on-site that could work, and I can get them at cost to save money. I can even bring a couple home with me if you want so you can pick it out. It’s your house, after all.”
Right. It was her house, and he was her roommate. Her naked roommate. She really needed to stop thinking about that.
“I don’t know what I want for that bathroom yet, I haven’t decided on anything. Liz was the one with the plans for the house.”
His gaze softened. “No problem. I’ll bring a couple by, and you can choose. If you don’t like any, then we’ll go to the store together to find one that you like that will also work in the space you have. Again, sorry for using your shower without asking, and for…” He waved between them.
“For slapping your naked body against mine so close I know exactly what your piecing feels like?” Tessa slapped her free hand against her mouth, her eyes going wide.
Murphy let out a rough chuckle that went straight between her legs. “Yes. That. Though we aren’t thinking about that, right?”
Tessa nodded, her hand still over her mouth lest she make things worse.
“Right,” he mumbled. “I’ll just… I’ll go.” He fled the bathroom, careful not to accidentally brush her on his way by, and Tessa lowered her hand, closing her eyes so she could hide from the world and what had just happened.
This was what happened when you roomed with the guy from your sex dreams.
Bad, sweaty, naked, pierced things.
About Carrie Ann Ryan